PHOENIX — Former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer reacted to issues with Maricopa County's rollout of the Phase 1B COVID-19 vaccinations on Monday.
A number of people reported issues with the website, finding unavailable time slots, and miscommunications that led to confusion. Brewer says it's just the latest example of how the state has missed the mark with its pandemic response.
ABC15's Nick Ciletti spoke with Brewer Monday:
Gov. Brewer: It's been a total disaster from the beginning. Way back in February when you couldn't even get a test.
Nick Ciletti: Who do you think is at fault here?
Gov. Brewer: I think the administration is at fault.
Nick Ciletti: Meaning Gov. Ducey?
Gov. Brewer: Well, I believe the buck stops at the 9th Floor. I'm sorry.
Early Monday, Maricopa County Public Health tweeted out that the website to book vaccinations was having issues, at one point, asking users not to log on until after 6:40 a.m. due to high traffic. The County tweeted that they had expanded server capacity the prior week but the demand had surpassed that capacity, creating the delays.
For Gov. Ducey's part, he announced Friday that State Farm Stadium would be transformed into a 24/7 vaccination site, which opened Monday morning. Gov. Brewer says she was eventually able to book an appointment for herself and her husband there, but only after several hours of trying.
Gov. Ducey also announced last week Arizona would receive more than $65 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all of which would be used to helping to get the vaccine from freezers to the arms of people across the state.
But Gov. Brewer says, the state should be doing more.
Nick Ciletti: Do you feel like Gov. Ducey hasn't taken this pandemic seriously enough?
Gov. Brewer: I don't think he's been on top of it. He's trying to walk it down the middle of the people that believe it is a pandemic and those that think it's not serious. But he has to lead.
Later in the conversation, Gov. Brewer went on to say, "The bottom line is, we know our hospitals are far beyond capacity. We know that people are dying. We know that people are having long-term residual effects from this. And it needs to be addressed. And the only people that can address it is our government, our elected officials, our bureaucrats. And here in Arizona, it has been a total failure."
We reached out to Gov. Ducey's office for a response and on Monday evening, a spokesperson sent us the following statement:
"As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country, Arizona is no different. We are grateful for the public health officials that have worked tirelessly since the very first case of COVID-19 to expand testing, contact tracing, and enforcement of common-sense mitigation strategies. And as a result of significant investments in hospital resources, we're thankful to the hundreds of nurses, doctors and other hospital staff that have joined efforts in our hospitals. We must all continue to remain vigilant by doing what we know works -- wearing a mask, following public health guidance, and practicing personal responsibility."